As should be no surprise, the 2014 Little League World Series was the most-watched ever on the ESPN family of networks.
The full 54-game Little League World Series averaged a 1.1 U.S. rating and 1.7 million viewers on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, up 57% in ratings and 71% in viewership from last year. This year’s tournament ranks as the highest rated LLWS since 2002 and the most-watched ever on the ESPN networks.
The top telecast of the tournament was Sunday’s South Korea/Illinois Championship Game, which earned 5.3 million viewers on ABC — up 35% from last year (3.9M), up 89% from 2012 (2.8M), and the most-watched title game since 2003.
The 11-year high for the championship game was just one of several milestones for this year’s Little League World Series. The tournament also included the most-watched U.S. Championship Game since 2002 and the two most-watched LLWS games ever on ESPN. The Pennsylvania and Illinois teams — hailing from Philadelphia and Chicago, respectively — were the driving force behind this year’s record numbers.
For some perspective, the LLWS outdrew this year’s College World Series by 175% in ratings (1.1 to 0.4) and 240% in viewership (1.7M to 507K).
* LLWS averages include regionals (54 total telecasts); CWS averages include regionals and super regionals (62 total telecasts).
(Sun. numbers and LLWS avg. from ESPN)